Berkeley residents drinking less soda because of tax

Photo Credit: UC Berkeley

BERKELEY (KRON)—A new study released Tuesday finds that 21 percent of Berkeley residents in low-income neighborhoods are drinking less soda.

Researchers at UC Berkeley said it is all because the city implemented a penny-per-ounce tax at all sodas sold at local businesses.

The study was published in the American Journal of Public Health on Tuesday.

Sixty-three percent more Berkeley residents are now drinking water, according to researchers.

Berkeley became the first city in the United States to have a soda tax.

The tax has been in effect since March 2015.

Oakland and San Francisco saw a 4 percent increase in the number of residents drinking soda, according to researchers.

San Francisco had the soda tax on its ballot last year, but it was struck down by voters.

Supervisor Malia Cohen has issued a statement on the UC Berkeley study:

Supervisor Malia Cohen today issued the following statement regarding the results of UC Berkeley’s study on the impact of the Berkeley soda tax. Supervisor Cohen is the sponsor of Proposition V on San Francisco’s November ballot – which is similar to the Berkeley soda tax – a 1 penny per ounce tax with funding that can be used to improve children’s health.

“The results of UC Berkeley’s study reinforce why I am advocating for a sugary beverage tax for the health of San Franciscans on this November’s ballot. For far too long the Beverage Industry has disproportionately targeted low-income communities, and those communities have suffered the health consequences associated with the consumption of sodas and sugary beverages, including Type 2 diabetes and obesity. We now have data and evidence that show a tax on sugary beverages works and is effective in encouraging the public to make healthy choices, particularly those who have been suffered from Big Soda’s tactics.”


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